Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 53
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
42: Ash-Shura - الشورى

42:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ حم
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Ha Mim
[ Saheeh International ]
Ha, Meem.
Tafseer Commentary

4526 See Introduction to S. 40, paragraphs 2-4.


42:2
[ Original ]
عسق
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
'Ain. Sin. Qaf.
[ Saheeh International ]
'Ayn, Seen, Qaf.
Tafseer Commentary

4527 This Surah has a double set of Abbreviated Letters, one in the first verse, and one in this second verse. No authoritative explanation of this second set is available, and I refrain from speculation. See Appendix I.


42:3
[ Original ]
كَذَٰلِكَ يُوحِي إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus doth (He) send inspiration to thee as (He did) to those before thee,- Allah, Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom.
[ Saheeh International ]
Thus has He revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and to those before you - Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Tafseer Commentary

4528 Inspiration is full of Power and Wisdom, and both these qualities are derived from the Power and Wisdom of Allah. Unlike human power, this Power is necessarily good and merciful; unlike human wisdom, this Wisdom is necessarily complete and indisputable.


42:4
[ Original ]
لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: and He is Most High, Most Great.
[ Saheeh International ]
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great.
Tafseer Commentary

4529 We cannot conceive the distance which separates the Most High from the highest of His creatures. Allah Most Great from the greatest of the beings that we can imagine. The highest heavens are mentioned in the next verse, as well as the noblest creatures that we can imagine, the angels.


42:5
[ Original ]
تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْ فَوْقِهِنَّ ۚ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The heavens are almost rent asunder from above them (by Him Glory): and the angels celebrate the Praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth: Behold! Verily Allah is He, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
The heavens almost break from above them, and the angels exalt [Allah] with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth. Unquestionably, it is Allah who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

4530 How can we conceive of sublimity and greatness in a higher degree than this, that the highest heavens are almost ready to burst asunder by His Glory, which is higher than all?

4531 The angels are the noblest and purest beings of whom we can conceive. They reflect on the one side Allah's Glory and Praise, and on the other, two other attributes of Allah, that look towards His erring creatures, viz.: Forgiveness and Mercy. The two sets of attributes are complementary. They thus proclaim in their own being and in their prayers the Greatness and unbounded Goodness of Allah.


42:6
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And those who take as protectors others besides Him,- Allah doth watch over them; and thou art not the disposer of their affairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who take as allies other than Him - Allah is [yet] Guardian over them; and you, [O Muhammad], are not over them a manager.
Tafseer Commentary

4532 We now come to the contrast, the folly and ingratitude of man. But that cannot escape its final doom in the Universal Plan of Allah. Only J udgement rests with Allah. A Prophet is not responsible for the conduct of men, in a system which permits some limited free will and personal responsibility.


42:7
[ Original ]
وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِتُنْذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَىٰ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنْذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus have We sent by inspiration to thee an Arabic Qur'an: that thou mayest warn the Mother of Cities and all around her,- and warn (them) of the Day of Assembly, of which there is no doubt: (when) some will be in the Garden, and some in the Blazing Fire.
[ Saheeh International ]
And thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur'an that you may warn the Mother of Cities [Makkah] and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze.
Tafseer Commentary

4533 The point of the Qur'an being in Arabic is that it is plain and intelligible to the people through whom and among whom it was promulgated; see next clause.

4534 The City of Makkah . See n. 913 to 6:92. This is undoubtedly a Makkan verse. Even apart from the Qiblah, Makkah is the centre of Islam, and "all around her" is the whole world.

4535 The contrast is again emphasised, as explained in the Summary.


42:8
[ Original ]
وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَهُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ يُدْخِلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ ۚ وَالظَّالِمُونَ مَا لَهُمْ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If Allah had so willed, He could have made them a single people; but He admits whom He will to His Mercy; and the Wrong-doers will have no protector nor helper.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if Allah willed, He could have made them [of] one religion, but He admits whom He wills into His mercy. And the wrongdoers have not any protector or helper.
Tafseer Commentary

4536 Cf. 5:48 , and n. 761. It is one of the Signs of Allah that He has made us different, that we may be tried in the exercise of our will, and that we may reach, through righteousness and Faith, our highest development, and enjoy His gifts of Mercy and Grace. But we must not become contentious, and fall into evil: we must understand our own limitations. Otherwise we shall lose His grace and protection.


42:9
[ Original ]
أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۖ فَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْوَلِيُّ وَهُوَ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What! Have they taken (for worship) protectors besides Him? But it is Allah,- He is the Protector, and it is He Who gives life to the dead: It is He Who has power over all things,
[ Saheeh International ]
Or have they taken protectors [or allies] besides him? But Allah - He is the Protector, and He gives life to the dead, and He is over all things competent.
Tafseer Commentary

4537 There can be no greater ingratitude or blasphemy than to worship false gods, or to seek protection from things that have no power, when Allah-Who has power over all things-is always seeking to protect and cherish His creatures, and placing in their way all the means for attaining the best in them.


42:10
[ Original ]
وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبِّي عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allah. such is Allah my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.
[ Saheeh International ]
And in anything over which you disagree - its ruling is [to be referred] to Allah. [Say], "That is Allah, my Lord; upon Him I have relied, and to Him I turn back."
Tafseer Commentary

4538 In the highest issues of life men may see things differently. If their differences arise merely from selfish motives, or narrowness of vision, they are sinning against their own souls. If their differences arise from sincere but mistaken notions, their proper course is not to form divisions and sects, or to increase contention and hatred among men, but to leave all things to Allah, trusting in Him and turning to Him in all difficulties. The final decision in all things is with Him.


42:11
[ Original ]
فَاطِرُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ أَزْوَاجًا ۖ يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ ۚ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).
[ Saheeh International ]
[He is] Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle, mates; He multiplies you thereby. There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
Tafseer Commentary

4539 The mystery of sex has not only its physical aspects, but its moral and spiritual aspects, and therefore mankind is in this respect differentiated from the lower animals, and among mankind the grades and qualities are suggested by the phrase "from among yourselves". As regards cattle, they are specially mentioned among the animals, as having special relations with man and specially subserving his needs, not only in the physical sphere, but also in the matter of transport, which is the key to all civilisation and culture: Cf. 36:71-73; also 23:21-22, where they are compared to ships, the symbol of international intercourse.


42:12
[ Original ]
لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth: He enlarges and restricts. The Sustenance to whom He will: for He knows full well all things.
[ Saheeh International ]
To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is, of all things, Knowing.
Tafseer Commentary

4540 "Sustenance", here as elsewhere, stands for all things that support every phase of life, physical, social, intellectual, or spiritual. Cf. 10:59 , n. 1447. The source of all gifts is Allah; His bounty is inexhaustible, and He gives to all; but He does not give to all in the same measure, because, out of the fullness of His knowledge and wisdom, He can judge best what is best for any of His creatures (see also n. 4554 and n. 4740).


42:13
[ Original ]
شَرَعَ لَكُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ ۚ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۚ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ يُنِيبُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).
[ Saheeh International ]
He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].
Tafseer Commentary

4541 Allah's Religion is the same in essence, whether given, for example, to Noah, Abraham, Moses, or Jesus, or to our Prophet. The source of unity is the revelation from Allah. In Islam it is "established" as an institution, and does not remain merely a vague suggestion.

4542 Faith, Duty, or Religion, is not a matter to dispute about. The formation of sects is against the very principle of Religion and Unity. What we should strive for is steadfastness in duty and faith, and unity among mankind.

4543 Unity, unselfishness, love for Allah and man-these things are inconsistent with selfish aggrandizement, unjust suppression of our fellow-creatures, false worship, and false conduct to our brethren. Hence the Gospel of Unity, though it is in complete accord with the pure pattern after which Allah made us, is yet hard to those who love self and falsehood. But Grace is free to all, and in His wise Plan. He will specially select Teachers to show the Way to humanity, and no one who turns to Him will lack guidance.


42:14
[ Original ]
وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوا إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِنْ رَبِّكَ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُورِثُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ مُرِيبٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they became divided only after Knowledge reached them,- through selfish envy as between themselves. Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, (tending) to a Term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them: But truly those who have inherited the Book after them are in suspicious (disquieting) doubt concerning it.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.
Tafseer Commentary

4544 Cf. 2:213. If you reject Truth after it has reached you, it can only be through selfish contumacy or envy.

4545 Cf. 10:19 , and n. 1407. Allah's decree has allowed a certain Term during which a sinner has the chance of repentance and forgiveness. Were it not so, sin would be punished at once, and the matter would be decided straightaway. So also, when people reject Truth from selfish or contumacious motives, they get rope: perchance they may repent.

4546 Cf. 14:9 and n. 1884. "Those who have inherited the Book" are the People of the Book, of the ages since the Book or Revelation came to them. Referring to the Jews and Christians contemporary with our Prophet, how true it is that they were broken up into hostile sects which hated and persecuted each other! Islam came to unite them, and it did. For the present phases of Christianity and Judaism are of later growth.


42:15
[ Original ]
فَلِذَٰلِكَ فَادْعُ ۖ وَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَقُلْ آمَنْتُ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ كِتَابٍ ۖ وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ ۖ اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ ۖ لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ ۖ لَا حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ ۖ اللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: "I believe in the Book which Allah has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal.
[ Saheeh International ]
So to that [religion of Allah] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, "I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur'an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination."
Tafseer Commentary

4547 How beautifully the mission of Islam is commended in this verse! (1) the more sectarianism and division there is in the world, the more need is there for the Gospel of Unity. (2) It must steadfastly pursue its way. (3) It must not be deflected by wordly or political motives. (4) Its faith must be directly in Allah and in Allah's Revelation. "The Book", mentioned here, covers all the revelations sent by Allah to His prophets. (5) It must judge justly between warring factions, as the Religion of Peace and Unity.

4548 The mission of Islam is further described. (6) The God whom it preaches is not an exclusive God: He is the Lord of the Worlds: to any given person, of whatever faith, 'He is your Allah, as well as mine' (7) Our faith is not a question of words; it is deeds which decide; each one of us has personal responsibility for his own conduct. (8) There is no cause of contention whatever, when we preach Unity, Truth, and the Hereafter. (9) If you have doubts, the final arbiter is Allah, and His Throne is our Goal.


42:16
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ يُحَاجُّونَ فِي اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا اسْتُجِيبَ لَهُ حُجَّتُهُمْ دَاحِضَةٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But those who dispute concerning Allah after He has been accepted,- futile is their dispute in the Sight of their Lord: on them will be a Penalty terrible.
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who argue concerning Allah after He has been responded to - their argument is invalid with their Lord, and upon them is [His] wrath, and for them is a severe punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

4549 After He has been accepted. The disputants are the Unbelievers who pugnaciously assault the minds of Believers after the Believers have by conviction accepted Faith in Allah as leading to spiritual Light. Such disputation is futile. An inner spiritual experience can never be shaken by dialectical assaults. On the contrary such disputations recoil on the heads of those who indulge in them. Allah's Wrath is on them in this life, and the terrible Penalty of the Hereafter must inevitably follow their evil plots against Truth.


42:17
[ Original ]
اللَّهُ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ وَالْمِيزَانَ ۗ وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ السَّاعَةَ قَرِيبٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in Truth, and the Balance (by which to weigh conduct). And what will make thee realise that perhaps the Hour is close at hand?
[ Saheeh International ]
It is Allah who has sent down the Book in truth and [also] the balance. And what will make you perceive? Perhaps the Hour is near.
Tafseer Commentary

4550 Revelation is like a balance, an instrument placed by Allah in our hands, by which we can weigh all moral issues, all questions of right and wrong in conduct. We must do so constantly. For the Judgement in any given case may come at any time: it may be quite near, and we must always be prepared. The Balance may also refer to the God-given faculty by which man can judge between right and wrong.


42:18
[ Original ]
يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مُشْفِقُونَ مِنْهَا وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهَا الْحَقُّ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُمَارُونَ فِي السَّاعَةِ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ بَعِيدٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Only those wish to hasten it who believe not in it: those who believe hold it in awe, and know that it is the Truth. Behold, verily those that dispute concerning the Hour are far astray.
[ Saheeh International ]
Those who do not believe in it are impatient for it, but those who believe are fearful of it and know that it is the truth. Unquestionably, those who dispute concerning the Hour are in extreme error.
Tafseer Commentary

4551 The Unbelievers do not believe in Judgement and laugh at it. They say defiantly, "If there is to be a punishment, let it come at once!" The threefold answer to this will be found in n. 1810 to 13:6. With those who believe, the case is different. They know that the Hereafter is an awful Reality, and prepare for it. They see clearly on what a wrong track the scoffers are!


42:19
[ Original ]
اللَّهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Gracious is Allah to His servants: He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases: and He has power and can carry out His Will.
[ Saheeh International ]
Allah is Subtle with His servants; He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the Powerful, the Exalted in Might.
Tafseer Commentary

4552 Latif. so kind, gracious, and understanding, as to bestow gifts finely suited to the needs of the recipients. For the various meaning of Latif, see n. 2844 to 22:63. Cf. also 12:100.

4553 "Servants" here seems to include all men, just and unjust, for Allah provided for them all (Cf. 42:7, 50:29, and 51:56).

4554 Sustenance, i.e., provision for all needs, physical, moral, spiritual, etc. "To whom He pleases" is not restrictive, but modal. 'Allah provides for all, but His provision is according to His wise Will and Plan, and not according to people's extravagant demands.' He can provide for all, because He has complete power and can carry out His Will. A further comment will be found in the next verse (Cf. n. 4540 and n. 4740).


42:20
[ Original ]
مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ نَصِيبٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To any that desires the tilth of the Hereafter, We give increase in his tilth, and to any that desires the tilth of this world, We grant somewhat thereof, but he has no share or lot in the Hereafter.
[ Saheeh International ]
Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter - We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world - We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share.
Tafseer Commentary

4555 The parable is from the efforts of the husbandman, who ploughs and prepares the soil, saws the seed, weeds in due season, and reaps the harvest. You reap as you sow. But Allah will add manifold advantages for spiritual tilth. To those who are only engrossed in the vanities of this world, something may accrue in this world, but the spiritual world is closed to them.


42:21
[ Original ]
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَنْ بِهِ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What! have they partners (in godhead), who have established for them some religion without the permission of Allah. Had it not been for the Decree of Judgment, the matter would have been decided between them (at once). But verily the Wrong- doers will have a grievous Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

4556 Nothing can exist without the permission of Allah. Can people, who indulge in false worship say: "Why does Allah permit it?" The answer is: "a certain latitude is allowed with the grant of a limited form of free will. When the time for Judgement comes, the Punishment is sure." See n. 1810 to 13:6. Decree (or Word) of Judgement. See n. 1407 to 10:19.


42:22
[ Original ]
تَرَى الظَّالِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا وَهُوَ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي رَوْضَاتِ الْجَنَّاتِ ۖ لَهُمْ مَا يَشَاءُونَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thou wilt see the wrongdoers in fear on account of what they have earned, and (the burden of) that must (necessarily) fall on them. But those who believe and work righteous deeds will be in the luxuriant meads of the Gardens: they shall have, before their Lord, all that they wish for. That will indeed be the magnificent Bounty (of Allah..
[ Saheeh International ]
You will see the wrongdoers fearful of what they have earned, and it will [certainly] befall them. And those who have believed and done righteous deeds will be in lush regions of the gardens [in Paradise] having whatever they will in the presence of their Lord. That is what is the great bounty.
Tafseer Commentary

4557 The chief feature of the punishment of wrongdoing is that the minds of the wrongdoers are haunted with terror on account of their own guilty conscience. They cannot possibly escape the weight of that terror.

4558 In contrast with the withering terror of the wrongdoers is the ease and rational happiness of those who do good. "On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" ( 2:38 ). Their wills will have been purified, and they shall have all that they shall desire, "before their Lord". That is, their highest Bliss will be the sight of their Lord. No higher Bounty can they wish for.


42:23
[ Original ]
ذَٰلِكَ الَّذِي يُبَشِّرُ اللَّهُ عِبَادَهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ۗ قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ ۗ وَمَنْ يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That is (the Bounty) whereof Allah gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin." And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (service).
[ Saheeh International ]
It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.
Tafseer Commentary

4559 Heaven may be pictured to our minds in various forms. This is one of the highest, and Allah announces it freely to the righteous.

4560 No sort of tangible reward does the man of God ask for proclaiming the Glad Tidings of Allah. But at least he has the right to ask that his kith and kin should not persecute him and put all sorts of obstacles in his way, as did the Quraysh against the Prophet. The love of kindred may be extended to mean the love of our common humanity, for all mankind are brothers descended from Adam. Everyone can understand the ordinary love of kindred. (R).

4561 Cf. 35:29-30, and notes n. 3915 (for increase) and n. 3917 (for Allah's appreciation of service).


42:24
[ Original ]
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا ۖ فَإِنْ يَشَإِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ ۗ وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What! Do they say, "He has forged a falsehood against Allah.? But if Allah willed, He could seal up thy heart. And Allah blots out Vanity, and proves the Truth by His Words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts.
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do they say, "He has invented about Allah a lie"? But if Allah willed, He could seal over your heart. And Allah eliminates falsehood and establishes the truth by His words. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.
Tafseer Commentary

4562 If anyone has a doubt about a prophet's mission, let him look at the prophet's life, at his work, at his character. Allah loves Truth, not Falsehood. Allah's aid goes with Truth, not with Falsehood. The beauty and power of Allah's Word cannot be found in Falsehood. The false man's heart would be sealed, not expanded to new heights, as is that of the Message-bearer of Allah.


42:25
[ Original ]
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَعْفُو عَنِ السَّيِّئَاتِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.
[ Saheeh International ]
And it is He who accepts repentance from his servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do.
Tafseer Commentary

4563 Whatever the sin. Allah's Mercy is open to sincere Repentance, at all times, until the decree of condemnation issues.


42:26
[ Original ]
وَيَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۚ وَالْكَافِرُونَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase of His Bounty: but for the Unbelievers their is a terrible Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
And He answers [the supplication of] those who have believed and done righteous deeds and increases [for] them from His bounty. But the disbelievers will have a severe punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

4564 To the prayers of the righteous He listens, and He gives them of His Bounty beyond their deserts. Every time they do a little good, they are increased in their goodness. Every right impulse or aspiration is strengthened and leads to progressive spiritual advancement.


42:27
[ Original ]
وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِنْ يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If Allah were to enlarge the provision for His Servants, they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds through the earth; but he sends (it) down in due measure as He pleases. For He is with His Servants Well-acquainted, Watchful.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if Allah had extended [excessively] provision for His servants, they would have committed tyranny throughout the earth. But He sends [it] down in an amount which He wills. Indeed He is, of His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.
Tafseer Commentary

4565 It may be objected that all prayers, even of good people, are not answered. The reply is: (1) that even everyone who is good does not necessarily know what is best for him, for the values in this life are curiously distorted; and (2) on account of their want of knowledge, if everyone got all he asked for, there would be chaos and confusion, and "transgression beyond bounds through the earth", for the different interests are so intermingled and balanced that some measure must be observed in granting people's wishes. This measure is best supplied by the watchful care of Allah and His perfect knowledge of all our real needs.

4566 As He pleases is here almost equivalent to as He thinks best.


42:28
[ Original ]
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنْشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ ۚ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He is the One that sends down rain (even) after (men) have given up all hope, and scatters His Mercy (far and wide). And He is the Protector, Worthy of all Praise.
[ Saheeh International ]
And it is He who sends down the rain after they had despaired and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.
Tafseer Commentary

4567 That men should get such a blessing as rain when they expect it according to ordinary calculations of probabilities does not impress them, as it is a daily occurrence. But Allah's mercy is more than this. It comes to our aid even when all hope is lost, and gives us new chances and new openings where we least expect them. His quality of cherishing and protecting His creatures is always active, and what higher praise can we give?


42:29
[ Original ]
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاءُ قَدِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills.
[ Saheeh International ]
And of his signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and what He has dispersed throughout them of creatures. And He, for gathering them when He wills, is competent.
Tafseer Commentary

4568 Dabbatun: beasts, living, crawling creatures of all kinds: see n. 166 to 2:164. Similarly in 24:45, and other passages, the word is used for living creatures of all kinds, life generally, whose material basis is the mysterious thing which science calls protoplasm. The more our biological knowledge increases, the more do we marvel at the unity of Life on the one hand, and its diversity on the other.

4569 Life is not confined to our one little planet. It is a very old speculation to imagine some life like human life on the planet Mars. Though no scientific demonstration is possible, it is reasonable to suppose that life in some form or other is scattered through some of the millions of heavenly bodies scattered through space. What wonderful Sign of Allah! the Almighty Who created such countless beings has surely the power to bring them together.


42:30
[ Original ]
وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whatever strikes you of disaster - it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.
Tafseer Commentary

4570 All evil, all sorrow, all pain and affliction, are things not normal, things twisted from the pure and holy nature as created by Allah's hands. As far as man is concerned, his misfortunes are but the consequences of the things he has done, He must bear personal responsibility for them and not throw the blame on others.


42:31
[ Original ]
وَمَا أَنْتُمْ بِمُعْجِزِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nor can ye frustrate (aught), (fleeing) through the earth; nor have ye, besides Allah, any one to protect or to help.
[ Saheeh International ]
And you will not cause failure [to Allah] upon the earth. And you have not besides Allah any protector or helper.
Tafseer Commentary

4571 Every evil deed or word or thought must have its evil consequences: but if Allah forgives anything-and He forgives much-let no one imagine that he has defeated-or can defeat-Allah's Will or Plan. The only help or protection that is possible is from Allah. Cf. 29:22.


42:32
[ Original ]
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ الْجَوَارِ فِي الْبَحْرِ كَالْأَعْلَامِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And among His Signs are the ships, smoothrunning through the ocean, (tall) as mountains.
[ Saheeh International ]
And of His signs are the ships in the sea, like mountains.
Tafseer Commentary

4572 The great and stately ships are appealed to again and again as being among the Signs of Allah, from many aspects. The aspect referred to here is how the great sailing ship runs prosperously as long as "the breath of heaven fill the sail", and what a miserable helpless creature she becomes when she once becomes becalmed. Students of English literature will remember the striking picture which Coleridge draws in his "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The becalmed ship is as it were in the grip of Death because of the crime which the sailor had committed, and his mind feels psychologically the full force of the Sign. By analogy we can apply this to other craft: the steamer is not free from other dangers of the sea, nor aircraft from numerous dangers of the air.


42:33
[ Original ]
إِنْ يَشَأْ يُسْكِنِ الرِّيحَ فَيَظْلَلْنَ رَوَاكِدَ عَلَىٰ ظَهْرِهِ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If it be His Will He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful.
[ Saheeh International ]
If He willed, He could still the wind, and they would remain motionless on its surface. Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful.
Tafseer Commentary

4573 If we study such Signs in the right spirit, we learn the highest lessons for our spiritual life: on the one hand, patient perseverance with reliance on Allah, and on the other a feeling or attitude of grateful thanks to Allah, that He enables us to achieve so much in spite of our shortcomings, and forgives in us so much that deserves punishment and disaster.


42:34
[ Original ]
أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا وَيَعْفُ عَنْ كَثِيرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or He can cause them to perish because of the (evil) which (the men) have earned; but much doth He forgive.
[ Saheeh International ]
Or He could destroy them for what they earned; but He pardons much.

42:35
[ Original ]
وَيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مَا لَهُمْ مِنْ مَحِيصٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But let those know, who dispute about Our Signs, that there is for them no way of escape.
[ Saheeh International ]
And [that is so] those who dispute concerning Our signs may know that for them there is no place of escape.
Tafseer Commentary

4574 If we treat Allah's Signs in the wrong spirit, i.e., contumaciously reject them or constantly dispute about them instead of trying to understand them, we are told that such tactics will avail us nothing: we cannot escape the consequences of our sins. The only way to escape is by repentance on our part and the grant of mercy by Allah.


42:36
[ Original ]
فَمَا أُوتِيتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord:
[ Saheeh International ]
So whatever thing you have been given - it is but [for] enjoyment of the worldly life. But what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely
Tafseer Commentary

4575 Any good (or ill) which is our lot is only a temporary phase to serve the convenience of this life, But there is a higher good, which comes from Allah's own Presence. Such good is both superior in quality, and more permanent. In the same way, any ills that we may suffer in this life, have reference only to the conditions of this our life of probation. The ills that we "earn" in our spiritual Lifesuch as deprivation of Allah's Grace-are far more momentous and permanent.

4576 The higher and more permanent gifts which come from Allah's Presence are for those who truly worship and serve Allah. These are described by nine of their characteristics: viz. (1) they have Faith: and it follows that (2) they trust in Allah, instead of running after false standards or values: (3) they eschew the more serious offences against Allah's Law, and of course keep clear of any offences against sex ("shameful deeds"); (4) while knowing that they are not themselves perfect, they are ready to forgive others, even though they are sorely tried with anger and provocation; for the rest see n. 4578.


42:37
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry even then forgive;
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive,
Tafseer Commentary

4577 Here we are speaking of the ordinary man or woman who tries to follow Allah's Law: he or she is not perfect, but at least eschews the major breaches of conduct. For those higher in spiritual degree there is of course a stricter standard. But all are entitled to the blessing of Islam, whatever their degree.


42:38
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَىٰ بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance;
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend.
Tafseer Commentary

4578 Continuing the enumeration of the characteristics described in n. 4576. above, we have the following further qualities in those who wish to serve Allah. (5) They are ready at all times to hearken to Allah's Signs, or to listen to the admonitions of prophets of Allah, and to follow the true Path, as they understand it: (6) they keep personal contact with Allah, by habits of Prayer and Praise; (7) their conduct in life is open and determined by mutual Consultation between those who are entided to a voice, e.g., in private domestic affairs, as between husband and wife, or other responsible members of the household: in affairs of business, as between partners or parties interested: and in State affairs, as between rulers and ruled, or as between different departments of administration, to reserve the unity of administration: (8) they do not forget Charity, or the help due to their weaker brethren, out of the wealth or gifts or talents or opportunities, which Allah had provided for themselves: and (9) when other people use them despitefully, they are not cowed down or terrorised into submission and acceptance of evil, but stand up for their rights within the limits mentioned in verse 40. (R).

4579 Consultation. This is the keyword of the Surah, and suggests the ideal way in which a good man should conduct his affairs, so that, on the one hand, he may not become too egotistical, and, on the other, he may not lightly abandon the responsibilities which devolve on him as a Personality whose development counts in the sight of Allah. See the points in head (7) under n. 4578 above. This principle was applied to its fullest extent by the Prophet in his private and public life, and was fully acted upon by the early rulers of Islam. Modern representative government is an attempt-by no means perfect-to apply this principle in State affairs. See my Religion Polity of Islam,


42:39
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْبَغْيُ هُمْ يَنْتَصِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves,
Tafseer Commentary

4580 This follows from the high value attached to an individual soul's Personality in Islam. Cf. last note. There are four possible situations that may arise: an individual may have to stand up against an oppressor (1) for his own trampled rights, or (2) for the rights of other within his ken; or (3) a community may have similarly to stand up for its own rights collectively; or (4) for the rights of others. Nos. 2, 3. and 4 are considered highly meritorious for all, though few have the courage or the spirit to rise to so high a standard. No. 1 is specially liable to abuse on account of man's selfishness; Nos. 2, 3 and 4 are also abused by men pretending to motives of public good when they are serving their own personal interests or idiosyncrasies; hence the qualifications mentioned in the next four verses and the notes thereto.


42:40
[ Original ]
وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِثْلُهَا ۖ فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.
[ Saheeh International ]
And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.
Tafseer Commentary

4581 See last note. When you stand up for rights, either on private or public grounds, it may be through processes of law, or by way of private defence insofar as the law permits private action, but in all cases you must not seek a compensation greater than the injury suffered. The most you can do is to demand equal redress. i.e. a harm equivalent to the harm done to you. Even this may serve to curb your unregenerate soul, or a community bent on revenge. But the ideal mode is not to slake your thirst for vengeance, but to follow better ways leading to the reform of the offender or his reconciliation. See 41:34, and 23:96. You can take steps to prevent repetition, by physical or moral means; the best moral means would be to turn hatred into friendship by forgiveness and love. In that case the compensation or reward (if we must use such terms) is infinitely greater, for it wins the good pleasure of Allah. But this active righting of wrongs, whether by physical or by moral or spiritual means, which are commended as better, is an antithesis to the monkish doctrine, when you are smitten on one cheek, to turn the other also. This would not suppress, but encourage wrongdoing. It is practised by none but poltroons, and is preached only by hypocrites, or men who want to make slaves or others by depriving them of the power of self-defence. It occurs in two of the four canonical Gospels (Matt. 5:39 , and Luke 6:29 ), but we need not therefore assume that it was preached by Jesus.

4582 To love Allah is the highest motive of our conduct, for it leads to the love of Allah's creatures; to win the approbation and love of Allah, is the highest reward, far transcending any compensation or satisfaction we can obtain in this life.

4583 Allah does not love those who do wrong. If, therefore, we tolerate wrong, or encourage wrong by allowing it to run rampant when we can prevent it, we fail in our duty to Allah.


42:41
[ Original ]
وَلَمَنِ انْتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged - those have not upon them any cause [for blame].
Tafseer Commentary

4584 Such people are not to be blamed, though they are following the lower law. The blame is on those who arrogantly ride roughshod over the land, oppressing people with grievous wrong. See next verse.


42:42
[ Original ]
إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.
[ Saheeh International ]
The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

4585 The fact that men seek the lower rather than the higher Law is itself a result of arrogant wrongdoing of which the type was the Pharaoh who claimed to be "your Lord Most High" and oppressed the Israelites, and kept his own people under slavery and subjection, and the false glamour of magic and deception.


42:43
[ Original ]
وَلَمَنْ صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whoever is patient and forgives - indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.
Tafseer Commentary

4586 It is harder to be patient and forgive, and yet to get wrongs righted, as was done by the Prophet, than to bluster about and "punish the guilty" or "teach them lessons". It may look like futility or lack of purpose, but in reality it is the highest and noblest form of courage and resolution. And it may carry out the purpose of reform and the suppression of evil even better than stern punishment. The gentleness of innocence often "persuades where stronger measures fail," But of course circumstances alter cases, and there is some allowance also to be made for the personal equation of the men you have to deal with: in some cases severity may be called for, but it should be from a strict judicial motive, and not merely from personal anger or spite or lower motive in disguise.


42:44
[ Original ]
وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ ۗ وَتَرَى الظَّالِمِينَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ يَقُولُونَ هَلْ إِلَىٰ مَرَدٍّ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For any whom Allah leaves astray, there is no protector thereafter. And thou wilt see the Wrongdoers, when in sight of the Penalty, Say: "Is there any way (to effect) a return?"
[ Saheeh International ]
And he whom Allah sends astray - for him there is no protector beyond Him. And you will see the wrongdoers, when they see the punishment, saying, "Is there for return [to the former world] any way?"
Tafseer Commentary

4587 When the actual consequences of evil are in sight, the foolish sinner wishes that it were possible to get back to the life of probation. But he neglected or abused it and rejected Allah's Grace all the time. How can he then be restored to a closed chapter of his life?


42:45
[ Original ]
وَتَرَاهُمْ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا خَاشِعِينَ مِنَ الذُّلِّ يَنْظُرُونَ مِنْ طَرْفٍ خَفِيٍّ ۗ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ الْخَاسِرِينَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَهْلِيهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ فِي عَذَابٍ مُقِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And thou wilt see them brought forward to the (Penalty), in a humble frame of mind because of (their) disgrace, (and) looking with a stealthy glance. And the Believers will say: "Those are indeed in loss, who have given to perdition their own selves and those belonging to them on the Day of Judgment. Behold! Truly the Wrong-doers are in a lasting Penalty!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And you will see them being exposed to the Fire, humbled from humiliation, looking from [behind] a covert glance. And those who had believed will say, "Indeed, the [true] losers are the ones who lost themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, the wrongdoers are in an enduring punishment."
Tafseer Commentary

4588 They were very arrogant in their probationary life. Now will they be humbled to the dust. And they will be in utter despair and misery. They will not be able to see the favours and good things of the other life (Cf. 20:124-126). Even their misery, which will face them as a terrible Reality, they will only be able to look at askance, so thoroughly cowed will be their spirit.

4589 This will be their thought, and their realised experience: 'after all, any troubles and sorrows, any persecutions and taunts which they suffered in the life of probation from the enemies of truth, were of no consequence; the real loss was that revealed at the Judgement at the restoration of true values; the wicked and the arrogant have lost their own souls, and have brought to perdition all who attached themselves to them and followed their evil ways; and this Penalty is one that will endure! How much more real it is!'


42:46
[ Original ]
وَمَا كَانَ لَهُمْ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ يَنْصُرُونَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And no protectors have they to help them, other than Allah. And for any whom Allah leaves to stray, there is no way (to the Goal).
[ Saheeh International ]
And there will not be for them any allies to aid them other than Allah. And whoever Allah sends astray - for him there is no way.
Tafseer Commentary

4590 The argument begun in verse 44 above is here rounded off. If once men finally cut themselves off from Allah's guidance and care, they will have no protection whatever. All their false objects of worship will only mislead them further and further. How they will wish the fact blotted out when they are in sight of Judgement, and vainly wish for time to be reversed! They will be in the Fire, while the men whom they despised and rejected will have reached the final Goal! For them there will be no such way!'


42:47
[ Original ]
اسْتَجِيبُوا لِرَبِّكُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۚ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ مَلْجَإٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ نَكِيرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Hearken ye to your Lord, before there come a Day which there will be no putting back, because of (the Ordainment of) Allah. that Day there will be for you no place of refuge nor will there be for you any room for denial (of your sins)!
[ Saheeh International ]
Respond to your Lord before a Day comes from Allah of which there is no repelling. No refuge will you have that day, nor for you will there be any denial.
Tafseer Commentary

4591 The Day of Judgement is inevitable. Allah has ordained it, and it cannot in any way be put back.

4592 At Judgement no one can escape the consequences of his crimes or deeds. And no one can disavow them or deny them, or by any chance pretend that they do not apply to him.


42:48
[ Original ]
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا ۖ وَإِنْ تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ كَفُورٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If then they run away, We have not sent thee as a guard over them. Thy duty is but to convey (the Message). And truly, when We give man a taste of a Mercy from Ourselves, he doth exult thereat, but when some ill happens to him, on account of the deeds which his hands have sent forth, truly then is man ungrateful!
[ Saheeh International ]
But if they turn away - then We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], over them as a guardian; upon you is only [the duty of] notification. And indeed, when We let man taste mercy from us, he rejoices in it; but if evil afflicts him for what his hands have put forth, then indeed, man is ungrateful.
Tafseer Commentary

4593 The warning is now given, that men may repent and do good, and pray for Allah's Mercy and Grace. If the warning is not heeded or is rejected, the prophet of Allah is not responsible for bringing about the Penalty or for forcing people to come to the right Path. He is not a guard set over them to free them from the need of exercising their limited free will. (R).

4594 Cf. 30:36. It is a sad reflection that men, when they receive some gift out of Allah's Mercy, exult in their good fortune and attribute it to some merit in themselves, instead of to the Grace and Mercy of Allah, thus missing the real lesson of Life. On the other hand, when they are in trouble, due to their own errors and shortcomings, they fall into despair and blame Allah, instead of blaming themselves. This is rank ingratitude. So they miss the true lesson of Life in that case also.


42:49
[ Original ]
لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ الذُّكُورَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plans). He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will (and Plan),
[ Saheeh International ]
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males.
Tafseer Commentary

4595 Verses 49-50 deal, in their ordinary meaning, with Allah's creative power replete with knowledge and continued purpose, contrasted with man's instincts and gropings after knowledge. The mystery of sex and parenthood is referred to in a new light With reference to children, a parent is often spoken of as the "author" of their being. The growth of population and the proportion of males and females in it have various sociological and psychological implications; yet how little do parents really know about them? The knowledge of science as regards the determination of sex in the embryo is practically nothing. Even if advancing knowledge threw light on what may be called the mechanical aspects of the question, the profounder problems touched by it are beyond the reach of man. Yet they are not governed by chance. Allah has a meaning and purpose in all things, and His power is complete to carry out His purpose.


42:50
[ Original ]
أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا ۖ وَيَجْعَلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ عَقِيمًا ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whom He will: for He is full of Knowledge and Power.
[ Saheeh International ]
Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.
Tafseer Commentary

4596 To parents themselves it is a mystery why a male or female child is given at any birth, or how the balance of the two sexes is made up in a family or in large groups of mankind, or why in some cases the womb is barren and the would-be parents are denied the joys and responsibilities of parenthood. But each individual human soul is precious in the Plan of Allah, and all these variations, besides their reactions on parents and on society, have a purpose to fulfil in the large Plan of Allah.


42:51
[ Original ]
وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a Messenger to reveal, with Allah.s permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise.
[ Saheeh International ]
And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.
Tafseer Commentary

4597 This leads us on to the higher spiritual meaning of verses 49-50, as leading up to verses 51-53. Man is but a speck in Allah's creation. His growth and family relationships are not by any means comparable to Allah's creative acts, whose various stages are referred to in n. 120 to 2:117, n. 916 to 6:94, and n. 923 to 6:98. That being so in the mysteries of man's daily life, how much more profound is the contrast between man and Allah in the apprehension of the higher spiritual problems concerned with Revelation? How can man be fit to speak to Allah? He is not fit. But there are three ways in which Allah, in His infinite Mercy, communicates with man, as described in verses 51-53.

4598 Allah is Most High, Most Wise: man is, in spite of his high destiny, often the lowest of the low (95:5). Yet Allah, out of His infinite Mercy and Grace, has bestowed His Revelation on man. How does it come about? Three ways are mentioned: (1) Wahy, Inspiration: (2) from behind a veil; and (3) by the sending of a Messenger: see the notes following. Wahy, Inspiration, is interpreted to be of two kinds: (1) a suggestion thrown by Allah into the heart or mind of man, by which man understands the substance of the Message, whether it is a command or prohibition, or an explanation of a great truth; and (2) verbal or literal inspiration, by which the actual words of Allah are conveyed in human language. (R).

4599 Behind a veil: not of course a material veil, but the mystic veil of Light. (R). Sahih Muslim relates a tradition that the Prophet said: "His veil is Light: were He to withdraw it, then would the august splendors of His countenance surely consume everything that comes within His Sight." (R).

4600 Messenger: Rasul the angel Gabriel, through whom the revelations were given to the Prophet. These spiritual visions, conveying the message of Revelation, are the basis of the Qur'an.


42:52
[ Original ]
وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا ۚ مَا كُنْتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَٰكِنْ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۚ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And thus have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee: thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith; but We have made the (Qur'an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We will; and verily thou dost guide (men) to the Straight Way,-
[ Saheeh International ]
And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path -
Tafseer Commentary

4601 Before the receipt of his mission in his fortieth year, the Prophet, though a man of steadfast virtue and purity and unflinching in his search for Truth (see C. 22-23), was yet unacquainted with Revelation in the highest sense of the term and with the certainty that comes from perfected Faith, or realised nearness to Allah. Ruh, which I have here translated Inspiration has also been understood by some Commentators to refer to the angel Gabriel, the vehicle of Revelation. The Light of the Qur'an made all things clear to man, and to the world.

4602 The Qur'an and the inspired Prophet who proclaimed it, are here identified. They were a Guide to men, showing the Straight Way . This Way is described in various ways: for example, see 1:6, and n. 22; 18:1-2, and notes n. 2326-2327; and 90:11-18.


42:53
[ Original ]
صِرَاطِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ أَلَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الْأُمُورُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The Way of Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend towards Allah.
[ Saheeh International ]
The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.
Tafseer Commentary

4603 The most comprehensive description of the Straight Way is that it is the Way of Allah, the Way of the Universal Law; for Allah is the source, centre, and goal of all things in heaven and earth. Everything goes back to Him. According to our own understanding we make our own laws, our own standards, and our own institutions. But the ultimate test of their validity or authority is Allah's Will, as revealed to us by His Revelation.


Quran Sura/Chapters: